The Australian dairy industry mandatory code of conduct will come into effect in January 2020, months ahead of schedule.
Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, said the aim of the mandatory code is to improve the contractual arrangements between dairy farmers and dairy processors.
“As Deputy Leader of the Nationals we understand the importance of the mandatory code being delivered as soon as possible in order to provide clearer safeguards for how farmers are treated as members of the supply chain,” Minister McKenzie said.
“That’s why we have taken measures to speed up the process and deliver the code well before the original deadline of July 2020.
“The dairy industry is on notice to make sure that the contracts offered to farmers are appropriate and fair ahead of its formal introduction—the community expects no less.
“The mandatory code is an outcome of the April 2018 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) report into the dairy sector.
“Following extensive consultation with the dairy industry, a draft mandatory dairy code of conduct was developed by the department. This will be released as an exposure draft for consultation next week.
“I expect dairy processors to keep the exposure draft in mind when developing new contracts with dairy farmers in the coming months.
“Consultation on the exposure draft will be open for four weeks and, from January 2020, the industry will be bound by the new code.
“Stakeholder consultation is an essential component of the development of this mandatory code and vital to its success.
“The department has run targeted consultations on the discussion paper and code options in order to develop the draft code.
“These were held across eight dairy regions with a broad representation of farmers, processors, industry representative bodies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure view points from all stakeholder groups were included.”